London: Celebrating his 75th birthday on Tuesday, Charles III remains as active as ever, a little over a year since ascending to the throne following the passing of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II. In the midst of his eighth decade, the British monarch is scheduled for a day filled with public commitments, culminating in a private dinner at his London residence.
Devoted to environmental causes throughout his life, Charles III will dedicate the day to championing issues dear to him. Accompanied by his wife, Queen Camilla, he will visit a surplus food distribution center, officially launching the Coronation Food Project. This initiative aims to combat food poverty by redirecting surplus food away from landfills.
Additionally, Charles will extend his support to the 75th-anniversary celebrations of the National Health Service (NHS). In this regard, he will host a reception at Buckingham Palace, welcoming 400 nurses and midwives to honor their contributions to the state-run healthcare system.
To mark his special day, the NHS choir plans to surprise Charles III with a birthday song, and Buckingham Palace has revealed that gun salutes will resonate in London and throughout the United Kingdom.
Cake and a musical celebration
Camilla, 76, once revealed that the famously workaholic king is particularly hard to buy gifts for.
“I will tell you that he is the most difficult person in the world to buy a present for… So he likes to make a list of things that he wants so you get it exactly right,” she said.
“He enjoys a cake and a little singing,” she remarked, though she noted the challenge of persuading him to take a break.
The evening festivity will be graced by close family and friends, with the notable absence of his estranged younger son, Harry.
A representative for Harry and his American wife Meghan refuted claims that they declined an invitation, stating that there had been “no communication regarding an invitation to His Majesty’s upcoming birthday.”
At the ages of 39 and 42, respectively, Harry and Meghan stepped back from royal duties in 2020 and moved to California. Subsequently, they have openly voiced criticisms of the royal family, resulting in strained relations with Harry’s father and a consequential rift between Harry and his older brother, Prince William, the heir to the throne.
Born on November 14, 1948, at Buckingham Palace, Prince Charles Philip Arthur George was the inaugural child of the future Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.
Upon reaching the milestone of 70 in 2018, Charles humorously remarked on the “alarming” reality of aging and acquiring “all the scars that go with it.”
Celebrating his 75th birthday this year, Charles coincides this landmark with his recent coronation and just a week after undertaking the historic duty of opening the UK Parliament for the first time as the reigning sovereign.
Following in the footsteps of his mother, who passed away at the age of 96 in September 2022, Charles has upheld a hectic schedule of royal responsibilities despite the progression of his years.
However, according to Ed Owens, a royal historian and author, Charles has assumed a more prominent role on the global stage compared to the late monarch. Owens, the author of “After Elizabeth: Can the Monarchy Save Itself?” noted that Charles has taken on the position of a “sort of international lead diplomat for Great Britain” and the Commonwealth.He has demonstrated a willingness to address challenging issues associated with colonialism and the British Empire.
During a recent visit to Kenya, Charles openly acknowledged that there was “no excuse” for the abuses committed during the colonial era in the East African country.
“In a manner distinct from Elizabeth II, he is addressing some of these more complicated aspects of history,” Owens remarked.